California Operation Lifesaver Kicks Off September Rail Safety Month

September Rail Safety Month – California Operation Lifesaver Promotes Rail Safety Awareness

Sacramento, CA., August 31, 2016 – The California State Legislature proclaimed September as Rail Safety Month in August 2009. Ranking number one in trespass casualties and number two in grade crossing incidents in the United States, there is a need to grow rail safety education.

California Operation Lifesaver (CAOL), a rail safety education group, provides free safety presentations for motorists and pedestrians throughout the state. Nancy Sheehan, the California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator, emphasized that rail safety is something all Californians should take seriously.

In 2015, there were 145 Trespass Casualties including 98 Fatalities, almost an 8% increase in fatalities since 2014. The number of Grade crossing incidents rose 15.6% during that same time frame.

Sheehan shared that about every 3 hours, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Operation Lifesaver is working to change people’s behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with their national public awareness campaign, See Tracks? Think Train!

“These trespass and grade crossing incidents have devastating effects on families and communities. As a part of Operation Lifesaver’s mission to reduce deaths and injuries around trains, we urge the public to follow the laws, obey the signs and signals, never walk on the tracks and avoid distractions near railroad tracks” said Sheehan.

California Operation Lifesaver’s team of volunteers work to raise rail safety awareness all year long through presentations and participation in events statewide. During September Rail Safety Month CAOL volunteers will grow the message with presentations to schools, law enforcement, community groups and more.

During rail safety month CAOL will run a Billboard Ad campaign focused on raising trespass awareness utilizing an Operation Lifesaver/Federal Railroad Administration grant. The 30 Billboards will run in both English and Spanish in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Simultaneously, utilizing an Operation Lifesaver/Federal Highway Administration grant, CAOL will run a digital ad campaign focused on Grade Crossing Safety awareness. The digital ads will run at major sporting events at professional sports venues across the state.

More rail safety awareness efforts will be made possible as California Operation Lifesaver joins their Rail Safety Partners to participate in special safety train, media, and city/county events.

“The public, the media, and statewide local communities can help raise awareness and grow the message by avoiding dangerous behavior around railroad tracks.

We urge the public to Share the See Tracks? Think Train! message with family, friends and in their communities. We all need to work together to save lives!” said Sheehan.

For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit: www.caol.us or  www.oli.

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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Pokemon Go Players Urged to Avoid Dangerous Distractions near Railroad Tracks

The Pokémon Go game launched in early July in the U.S with follow up releases globally throughout the month. The game has become a phenomenon downloaded by over 75 million people worldwide.

This popular augmented reality game received credit for promoting physical activity. Concerns have risen over an increase in accidents and injuries caused by inattentive and distracted players.

Operation Lifesaver pointed out in their recent blog (http://bit.ly/2aDJQs2) that they and their “safety partners want players, parents, and others to be aware that the game may put people at risk, especially if their hunt for Pokémon takes them near train tracks.”

The National Safety Council’s statement addresses the safety concerns for pedestrians and drivers. The Association of American Railroads and many other railroads have issued statements about safety concerns that encourage players to avoid being distracted and not take risks near railroad tracks.

California Operation Lifesaver urges players to remember to avoid distractions and be aware of your surroundings. Never trespass on railroad tracks it’s dangerous and illegal. As the American Association of Railroads warns; Your life… Don’t risk it playing Pokémon Go – Stay Off Railroad Tracks!

AAR_Pokemon-325x217

Read the Operation Lifesaver complete blog at: http://bit.ly/2aDJQs2 for information and links to safety tips.

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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California Operation Lifesaver notes an increase in 2015 crossing collisions; pedestrian-train casualties rose from 2014 levels

Preliminary Rail Crossing and Trespass Statistics, 2015 vs. 2014

Source: FRA Office of Safety Analysis

 

 

 

 

California Crossing Statistics California Trespass Statistics
Collisions Deaths Injuries All Casualties Deaths Injuries
2014 128 32 45 2014 143 91 52
2015 148 32 42 2015 145 98 47
% Change 15.6% 0% -6.7%      % Change 1.4% 7.7% -9.6%

Sacramento, CA March 14, 2015 – Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings in CA rose by 15.6 percent in 2015 and rail trespass casualties (deaths plus injuries) fell according to the nonprofit rail safety education organization California Operation Lifesaver, www.caol.us. The group cited preliminary 2015 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics.

“We are concerned with this increase in highway-rail grade crossing collisions,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator, Nancy Sheehan. “We will continue our work educating Americans about the crucial need to stay off train tracks and obey warning signs and signals,” said California Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Nancy Sheehan.

Nationally, vehicle-train collisions and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings fell in 2015, along with injuries to people trespassing on train tracks, while the number of trespassers killed on train tracks rose compared to 2014, as did the number injured as a result of crossing collisions, Sheehan said.

Overall, California crossing collisions were up 15.6% percent in 2015 from 2014, to 148; crossing fatalities remained unchanged at 32 fatalities and crossing injuries 6.7% percent to 42, FRA statistics reveal. Trespass fatalities increased, 7.7 percent in 2015 to 98, and trespass injuries fell 9.6 percent from 2014 to 47.

“Our ‘See Tracks? Think Train!” message is more important than ever to remind California residents that it’s illegal and extremely dangerous to use train tracks for recreational activities,” Sheehan continued. “In partnership with the rail industry, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, Operation Lifesaver is making a difference across the state,” she concluded.

See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                                               Follow:    http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver                                                                                                       Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at [state website URL, Facebook or Twitter link] or at http://www.oli.org.

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Operation Lifesaver announces grants to eight rail transit agencies for safety education campaigns

Operation Lifesaver announced grants awarded to 8 rail transit agencies for safety education.  Congratulations to Metrolink and SMART, the two agencies in California who were awarded these grants!

Great work Metrolink and SMART, your proactive efforts to raise rail safety awareness is greatly appreciated. CAOL appreciates your partnership!

Below is the Press Release from OLI:

Operation Lifesaver announces grants to eight rail transit agencies for safety education campaigns

WASHINGTON, DC, December 3, 2015 – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) announced the award of $148,500 in grant funds to eight rail transit agencies in seven states for public awareness and safety education projects. The local rail transit agencies and Operation Lifesaver programs will work together to produce educational projects utilizing the nonprofit organization’s “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign, which was developed in partnership with the Association of American Railroads a nd the United States Department of Transportation.

The ongoing campaign’s message is that whether driving or walking, when people see tracks, they should use caution and be alert for approaching trains, light rail vehicles or streetcars. The grant campaigns will increase public awareness of rail transit surroundings and help people pay attention in potentially dangerous situations.

“We are thrilled to award these rail transit safety education grants to these eight agencies,” said OLI Vice President Wende Corcoran. “We appreciate the help of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in publicizing the rail transit safety grant program. Operation Lifesaver is very grateful to our safety partners at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for providing the funding.”

“FTA strongly supports more innovative rail transit safety awareness outreach efforts to educate the communities where these systems operate,” said Acting Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan.  “Whether as a passenger or walking, riding or driving near the tracks, safety must be everyone’s top priority‎.”‎

The winning agencies selected to receive a share of the funding include:

The winning rail transit agencies will use their funds to produce the following safety public awareness and education campaigns:

  • Metrolink will run a bilingual, targeted, and coordinated campaign with a series of print, digital, social media, and radio public service announcements aimed at raising public awareness and improving pedestrian behavior around rail property. Ads will include bilingual bus ads, billboards, Pandora music web ads, and mobile social media ads, as well as radio spots and sponsorships.
  • SMART will conduct a “Be Track SMART” in-theatre Rail Safety Ad Campaign to place rail safety ads in area movie theatres from October 2015 through February 2016 to deliver rail safety messaging during holiday season blockbuster movie showings.
  • The MARTA system’s Rail Safety Passenger Education (RSPE) initiative is an effort to educate MARTA riders on how to safely access the platforms and board the trains using a creative video and complementary material.
  • Metro Transit will refresh public outreach messaging for motorists and pedestrians, including billboards, bus ads and bus wraps, platform kiosks and clings, and vehicle interior cards.
  • The KC Streetcar service, opening in early 2016, plans a campaign to communicate the safety message “Respect the Rail:  Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Ready,” around streetcars. The campaign will leverage a partnership with local nonprofit BikeWalkKCin a coordinated effort to disseminate safety messaging for pedestrians, bicyclists and those with disabilities.
  • TriMet plans a safety outreach marketing campaign surrounding Portland’s MAX Orange Line, targeting people living or traveling in an area with quiet zones that have seen risky cyclist behavior around a light- and heavy-rail shared corridor. The campaign will run during a three-month period including National Bike Month and will feature TV, digital, radio ads and social media.
  • Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will launch a campaign to increase rail safety awareness in the Houston Metro area among motorists and pedestrians through distribution of approved OLI materials, the use of “backpack” billboards that are worn by campaign representatives to draw attention, and social media.
  • Hampton Roads’ light rail transit system, known as the Tide, will initiate an awareness campaign to educate and promote safety in the downtown Norfolk corridor within the city’s Central Business District (CBD). “See Tracks? Think Train!” promotional items will be used as safety reminders to pedestrians in the CBD. Desensitized behaviors create the need for light rail safety campaigns to continually remind the public to adhere to safety guidelines when around the Tide.

The grants range between $13,500 and $20,000 and require each agency to provide a 25 percent match.  The educational campaigns must use OLI-approved materials and logos and be coordinated through a state OL program. A team of transit safety and education professionals evaluated the applications based on criteria such as key safety messages and target audiences, evaluation methods, and timelines. Safety campaigns will launch by spring 2016, Corcoran noted.

Tweetables!

See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                  Follow: http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

About Operation Lifesaver – Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way.    A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

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Operation Lifesaver releases VPSA to stop train track photography trend | Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

The number of photographers and people taking selfies on railroad tracks is a growing trend that is not only illegal but dangerous and deadly!

In an effort to raise awareness and change this dangerous behavior of taking pictures on railroad tracks,  Operation Lifesaver has created a new video PSA.

Take a moment to read the Operation Lifesaver press release and watch their new VPSA.

Remember: Stay Off, Stay Away, Stay Alive! and whenever you See Tracks, ALWAYS Think Train!

Source: Operation Lifesaver releases VPSA to stop train track photography trend | Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                  Follow: http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

About Operation Lifesaver – Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way.    A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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Remembering the lives… A Renewed Commitment to School Bus Safety at Railroad Crossings

Bus Driver Poster

California Operation Lifesaver thanks our school bus drivers for using increased awareness when approaching and crossing railroad tracks. Remember the importance of being aware of the crossings on your route, watching for signs and signals and following your state and district laws.

Operation Lifesaver offers training videos, an e-Learning program,                                        in-person presentations, and the below safety reminders for school bus drivers.

bus driver PP Slide PicThe 20th anniversary of the Fox River Grove Bus-Train crash renews our commitment to school bus safety at all railroad crossings!

See Tracks Think Train Logo (2014_10_29 16_18_16 UTC)

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                  Follow: http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

About Operation Lifesaver – Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way.    A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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How Many Can You Reach? TAKE THE CHALLENGE!

SEPTEMBER IS RAIL SAFETY MONTH (#railsafetymonth)

  • Every three hours someone is hit by a train in the United States. On foot or in a vehicle, the result is the same — severe injury or even death.
  • Preliminary numbers show 126 people were killed and 92 injured in trespass and crossing collisions in California in 2014
  • Vehicles at train crossings and pedestrians walking on tracks account for 95% of all rail-related deaths. And almost all of these deaths are preventable.
  • Distractions are deadly! Stay Alert whenever you are near train tracks

Rail related fatality and injury statistics can be daunting. The message from these numbers is clear; raising awareness and educating the public about rail safety is crucial in changing dangerous behaviors around railroad tracks and trains.

California Operation Lifesaver works with Operation Lifesaver, all of our fellow state OL programs, and railroad partners year round to raise rail safety awareness. In California, September is Rail Safety Month, another key opportunity to promote the rail safety message.

THE CHALLENGE                                                                                                                         So here is the challenge… what can you do to raise awareness? Start today and take the #howmanycanyoureach challenge!

Tell 5 people about #SeeTracksThinkTrain, ask them to stay safe and obey the laws around railroad tracks. Then ask them to share the message with 5 more people. Ask them to request their 5 to share the #SeeTracksThinkTrain message with 5 more…and so on.

But don’t stop there!

Let us know! Tag us on all your social media @CAOpLifeSaver or Operation Lifesaver Inc. @olinational . Retweet our tweets, Like/Share our posts, Tweet about it, put it on your Facebook page. etc.

Show us how the #SeeTracksThinkTrain message is growing. Together we can raise awareness and save lives!

We look forward to seeing your efforts and appreciate your helping us grow rail safety education throughout California! #howmanycanyoureach    #SeeTracksThinkTrain

See Tracks Think Train Logo

Learn more at:  www.caol.us                                                                                                  Follow: http://twitter.com/CAOpLifeSaver Visit: http://www.facebook.com/CAOperationLifesaver

About Operation Lifesaver – Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way.    A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org; follow OLI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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